History & Culture

History & Culture

Body Piercings: A Modern Style that is rooted in Ancient Traditions

What many seem like a simple puncture wound may have a very emotional and personal significance to the bearer. Body modification is just one way you can express your personality and make a statement. The ancient practice of piercing can mark spiritual rites of passage and liberation. Our Fashionista, Kula Lumpur-based Shameena, delves into the antiquity of […]

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The Story of Dosa and its Antiquity

Lily tells us about Dosas and its antiquity. She says that the recipe of Dosa dates back to 1500 years, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths. A walk through Sector 17 shopping plaza in Chandigarh always makes me stop and sniff at the aromas wafting out of the Indian Coffee House. The reason […]

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The Journey from the Garden to the Cup

Tea has been variously called the drink of the winners, the elixir of life, a divine herb,  liquid wisdom,  cup of happiness, joy, love; a friend, a healer, a companion;  ‘beverage of the intellectual’ by Thomas de Quincey. Emerson found poetry and a great deal of sentiment in a chest of tea. Shernaz tells us […]

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Tattoo: A Primeval Art Form and an Individual Style Statement

Our fashionista, Kula Lumpur-based Shamina, delves into the history and traditions of tattoos, a primeval art form. She also sees its relevance as a contemporary style statement of an individual. Here’s her erudite, in-depth research, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.   Your necklace may break, the fau tree may burst, but my […]

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Bengalis, the Opium Seed Eaters, and their Cuisine, Alu Posto, and Other Dishes

The British had set up their base in Bengal, soon after the Battle of Plassey, in 1757, realised that there was a gigantic market for illegal opium in China. Undulating poppy fields replaced agricultural tracts of land, suddenly. The starving families of farmers were in a pathetic state. Human brains are experimental and innovative. The […]

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Haleem: Popularised by the Nizams of Hyderabad has its Origin in Arab

Haleem, literally meaning patient and merciful (Daleem) is a stew popular in Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. Although its ingredients vary from region to region, it always includes wheat or barley, meat and sometimes lentils. Popular variations are Keskek in Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and Northern Iraq. In the Arab world and Armenia it […]

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Vindaloo: A Delightful Marriage of Eastern and Western Cuisines in Goa

Vindaloo is a garbled pronunciation of the original Portuguese dish ‘carne de Vinha d’alhos,’ which means, meat marinated in wine vinegar and garlic. The local conditions tweaked the dish since there was no wine vinegar in India. The dish got its unique Goan taste with the blending of locally available ingredients like tamarind, cinnamon, cardamom […]

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Kannur: Where Beauty and Death go Hand in Hand

The agrarian peasant-landlord clashes that turned feudalism on its head in Kerala provided a fertile hunting ground for Communists. And this erstwhile fief of the12th Century Hindu Kolathiri Rajahs and the 17th century Muslim Sultanate of Arakkal soon became the nurturing ground of great political activism. The spread of Communism and the birth of the […]

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Velu had a Dream

Bina profiles Velu, who paid no heed to the ridicule about his buck teeth from other children. His hard work and sincerity helped him climb up the social ladder. Here’s the inspiring story of the simple village lad, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths. Velu was the cook’s son in my husband’s ancestral home. […]

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Did the French Fries Originate in Belgium?

It’s believed that the French Fries was invented either by the Belgians or the French. Surprisingly, potatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spanish. In 1537, Jimenez de Quesada and his Spanish forces found potatoes in the food stuff that the natives left behind when they fled from their Columbian village. They were initially called […]

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